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LONDON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shingo Gokan from the USA is the winner of the 2012 BACARDI Global Legacy Cocktail Competition (BGLCC). Gokan from New York won with his drink 'Speak Low'. Gokan was chosen from eight finalists from around the world after a spectacular finale which took place at the BACARDI distillery near San Juan, Puerto Rico. "This is the best week I've ever had, this is the best night I ever had, thank you so much," said Gokan.
Gokan was the final competitor of the night and he left the audience in tears as he shared his personal story of not being able to return to his friends and family at home in Japan when the earthquake struck in 2011. His drink and its presentation were inspired by his grandmother's Japanese tea ceremony.
"It was everything about Shingo, the simplicity of the drink, his abilities behind the bar and his emotional connection with the audience, he made us all cry," said BACARDI Global brand ambassador David Cordoba.
The competition was judged by an international panel of the industry's most influential including two BACARDI master blenders, Maestro de Ron, Jose Sanchez Gavito and Maestro de Ron, Luis Planas. They were joined by BACARDI Global Brand Ambassador David Cordoba, 'Ambassador of Aloha' Stanislav Vdrna and 2011 BGLCC winner, Marc Bonneton of France.
The eight were whittled down from a group of 26 bartenders who spent a week in Puerto Rico learning about the history of BACARDI rum, visiting the distillery in Catano where it is crafted, sharing their skills and techniques with fellow mixologists, and learning bartending philosophies and expertise from some of the industry's most influential tastemakers. As part of his prize, Gokan will visit the BACARDI distillery in Mexico, as well as travelling to five different countries to present his drink.
For more information on the BACARDI® Global Legacy Cocktail Competition and 150th Anniversary activities including downloadable images, video, contestant and judge biographies, recipes and press releases, please visit www.BacardiMediaCentre.com.
For more information, interviews and images please contact:
Sandra Peat, global director of PR and events, Bacardi Global Brands